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College to Present Earth Day Food Symposium

Daylong Programming on Theme 'Food and Farming for the Future: Eat Healthy/Grow Responsibly'

April 6, 2010

(BELOW) Pictured clockwise from the top right are Aaron Woolf, Dennis Avery, Martin Yan and the cover of Peter Menzel's book,

(BELOW) Pictured clockwise from the top right are Aaron Woolf, Dennis Avery, Martin Yan and the cover of Peter Menzel's book, "What the World Eats."

Hearkening the College’s seven-decade heritage in agriculture and complementing the national discussion on food, health and security, Wilmington College will present a food symposium April 22.

The daylong event, which of free of charge, is being held on the 40th anniversary of the first Earth Day in 1970.

It will delve into topics surrounding the theme “Food and Farming for the Future: Eat Healthy/Grow Responsibly.”

The symposium will feature presentations on such topics as the impact of modern food production with an emphasis on corn, fresh and healthy food alternatives, and feeding the world’s growing population in a sustainable manner.

Film director Aaron Woolf will urge a mindset change from the status quo in “Nudge Our Food System in a Different Direction,” at 1 p.m. in Hugh G. Heiland Theatre, followed by master chef Martin Yan presenting a “Garden Fresh Chinese Cuisine” cooking demonstration at 2:30 p.m. in Kelly Center.

Dennis Avery, from the Hudson Institute Center for Global Food Issues, will speak on “Feeding the Future, Sustainably” at 7:30 p.m., in Heiland Theatre.

Also, a daylong photography exhibit will highlight images from photojournalist Peter Menzel’s acclaimed book, The Hungry Planet: What the World Eats. His epic work, which features dinner tables from around the world, documents 12 families from 12 countries and provides a thought-provoking, visual analysis of worldwide food consumption, examining what we as global citizens share — or lack.

The photo exhibit will run from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. in Harcum Art Gallery, which is adjacent to Heiland Theatre in the Boyd Cultural Arts Center.

Other related activities include a Chinese dinner with chopsticks in the Student Dining Hall, Pyle Center, from 5 to 6:30 p.m. and exhibits featuring ethnic grocers, the presenters’ books, cooking utensils from around the world, the local Grow Food Grow Hope program, and an outdoor display of farm equipment from three distinct parts of the world.

Woolf is the producer/director of the acclaimed film

King Corn: You Are What You Eat

, which chronicles two college friends’ attempt to examine the role that the increasing production of corn has for American society, including its impact on the traditional family farm.

Yan is a James Beard Award-winning master chef and the celebrated host of more than 1,500 cooking shows, including the Emmy Award-winning Yan Can Cook. He is a highly respected food and restaurant consultant and is showcased in two dozen cooking books, including his most recent, Martin Yan’s Feast: The Best of ‘Yan Can Cook’ and Martin Yan’s Invitation to Chinese Cooking.

His presentation will emphasize healthy eating practices.

Avery is a leading spokesman for the modern farming systems that provide more food from fewer acres. He is the author of the book Saving the Planet with Pesticides and Plastic: The Environmental Triumph of High-Yield Farming and the co-author of Unstoppable Global Warming — Every 1,500 Years.

The son of a farmer/extension agent, he spent 15 years with the U.S. Department of Agriculture helping inspect foods, assemble farm income data and analyze price support policy.

The symposium is being held in conjunction with local Earth Day events, including WC’s annual Quake Day for Community Service April 24.

Wilmington College’s program in agriculture was established in 1948 as one of two institutions in Ohio that offers a curriculum leading to a bachelor’s degree.

Its program blends liberal arts, academic studies with real-world, practical experience on the land and in the barns. Resources include 1,000 acres of farmland (267 acres are committed to student learning laboratories with hands-on crop and animal production), an equine center and a horticultural greenhouse.

Featured concentrations include production agriculture (farms and agribusiness), education (vocational agriculture, extension), pre-professional (veterinary medicine, research, law), government service (USDA, FDA), and communication (publications, farm organizations).

Hallmarks of student study programs are placement in internships and study-abroad opportunities.